Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Author's Introduction to "FREAK OUT"

"FREAK OUT came out of nowhere. Usually I get a precognitive sense that a poem is getting close, usually just a feel of its basic emotional direction but sometimes a couple words or lines will rise high enough to recognize what they are but vanish too quickly to recall them even seconds later.

These types of 'thoughts' (for lack of a better word)are a constant companion, awake or asleep. They are always there, always bubbling and moving just below the surface of my consciousness controlled thought process. I would describe them visually as not unlike the refracted dapples of light on the bottom of a swimming pool... able to be seen but impossible to grasp.

When these subsurface thoughts enter my conscious mind they change into something more akin to the blotches and spots of light seen when closing the eyes after staring into a bright light. I'm not 'thinking' anything, not 'creating'. I'm waiting for that shape of light to break to see what spills out and sometimes I attempt to write it down.

Anyway, my miserable attempt to describe the 'process of poetry' (at least for me) is more to illustrate that there is a process of sorts even though the poetry is spontaneously 'birthed' (but fully developed) from a blotch of color in my head AND I can usually tell they're coming.

FREAK OUT came right out of the blue. No warning. A fast rising mahogany and gray amoebic shape eclipsing all other thoughts. I was fortunate to be sitting with paper and pen handy but even then barely had time or ability to scribe the words spilling into my brain. It was as visceral a process as projectile vomiting except it was the Under World part of my brain doing the spewing and my conscious mind was the bowl. (A 'freak out' indeed.)

Many times the poems that pour into my head are accompanied by colors, scents, images of various clarity and even music. Not FREAK OUT. It came with a roar of freight trains, thunder and chainsaws. So tangible was this auditory hallucination that I sat dazed (and convinced my ears were actually ringing) for some minutes after I'd stopped scribbling lines.

I dreaded reading FREAK OUT for the first time because I feared feeding the words back into my head would again unleash the maelstrom that begot it, even though at that time I had no clear idea what the words even were, let alone what they said. I won't share what FREAK OUT means to me. There's no point. No one sees things the same way. Whether it's poetry, sunrise or roadkill everyone's experience is unique to themselves.

If the choice was mine, FREAK OUT wouldn't exist. None of them would."

- G Laidlaw

1 comment:

  1. An interesting view into the creation process, even though I had already been allowed a peek before. My mind goes through similar times although nothing on quite the same level or strength. More so akin to how a picture can go from a blurry mess to clear focus; from subconscious to conscious mind.

    I know you probably don’t see it as such, but it’s a gift and I’m glad you share your gift with others. It’s amazingly deep and the type of material that takes a few chews to digest sometimes, which is often the best kind of meal for the mind. In an age where most things we take in are the mental equivalent of fast food, it’s nice to be able to sit down for a home cooked meal once in a while.

    Kudos once again Gordo, this is another winner from the maelstrom of your mind. If you have to experience such thoughts, to go through these moments, take solace in the fact that it’s at least not being done in vain. The works that you produce are not being wasted, at least not in my mind.